I have to tell you, if I haven't already done so, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year, for a brief few weeks, I actually thought now that I'm not working and could actually enjoy preparing for Christmas, that maybe I'd beat it. Maybe this time, I wouldn't get those winter doldrums, the cabin fever that hits me every winter without fail. But I was wrong. It doesn't matter if I have to go out in the winter weather or not, whether I'm working or not, I still hate winter.
Yes, the blizzard was exciting, and fun, for a day or so. And it sure looks pretty. But I'm afraid to walk on the ice, I hate bundling up to go out, and now that I don't have to work, my tendency to hibernate in the winter is worse than ever. I don't want to leave my house for any reason whatsoever. But at the same time I hate being cooped up and held prisoner in the house.
I need to move somewhere that doesn't have winter; a place where I can go outside all year, and maybe, just maybe have to put on a light jacket or raincoat from time to time.
Yes, I'm talking about San Francisco, of course. Some of you already know that San Francisco is my favorite city, at least here in America. The climate isn't too hot and isn't too cold; the views are spectacular, and if I lived there, the constant walking up and down hills would probably get me in shape without any effort on my part, unlike my habits living in car-dependent suburban New Jersey. San Francisco has great restaurants, lots of things to do, and beautiful scenery. And if you get tired of the city (hard to imagine), the surrounding areas are equally wonderful to visit.
Since today is the middle of the week of lost time between Christmas and New Year's, my cabin fever has risen to new heights, and I decided to immerse myself in daydreaming, via Realtor.com.
Did you know that the prices for houses and condos in San Francisco are lower than I have ever seen them? And believe me, moving to San Francisco has been DH's and my fantasy for over 20 years, so I've been watching real estate prices out there ever since Realtor.com ever came on line, whenever that was. Up until about 2 years ago, when all hell broke loose in the economy, there was not a single condo or house in the City of San Francisco that would be remotely affordable no matter how valuable our house in New Jersey might be. I saw prices of $500k and up for the tiniest studios. Well, that's not the case now! Prices are so low out there from what I see that we could actually buy something right now if we could sell our house immediately and move out there.
Unfortunately, what with DH's aging parents and my aunt still in the picture, that possibility is not going to happen in the near future. And certainly I don't want to hasten the time when aging relatives are no longer with us. So what is the solution to my winter daydreams? Any suggestions are welcome. Because with our luck, by the time we can sell our house, the prices in San Francisco will be back to the stratosphere.
In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures of affordable pieds-a-terre in the City by the Bay. It's the way I'm getting through my Seasonal Affective Disorder, for today anyway. Tomorrow I think I'll move on to Hawaii, where prices have also dropped dramatically!
Here's a condo at 240 Lombard Street, right near Telegraph Hill, for just under $350k. Here's one for $339k on McAllister Street, right near Alamo Square, where people take that famous picture that's on the postcards (see below).
And if we want to be near the ocean and Golden Gate Park, check out this one, a 2-bedroom condo for $343k.
Now, I know these prices may still sound high, especially if you live outside the metro NY area; but the 1-bedroom condo in that last building is only $209k, and there are plenty of others in the low $200s and even below, if you aren't looking for an ocean view or a short walk to Telegraph Hill.
For instance, this studio for $199k with views of the city, a swimming pool, community exercise room, and other amenities in Diamond Heights. Or, if you're willing to be a little farther from downtown, here's a one-family house for only $239,000.
Oh, I know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The condos with the low prices probably have high monthly homeowner's fees, the single family house probably is in need of TLC, and so on. But the fact remains, suddenly San Francisco is at least in the realm of possibility. And that helps get me through my winter blues.
And, since this is how I spent my afternoon, here are the Mamas and Papas singing "California Dreaming."